No matter how well you care for your teeth during the day, you might be causing harm to them while you are sleeping, or in other situations without even realizing you are doing it. As many as 80% of people are grinding and clenching their teeth, a condition known as bruxism, while they sleep or even in stressful situations. Over time, these habits can wear on your teeth and cause permanent damage.
Causes and Symptoms of Bruxism
One of the most common reason for teeth grinding and jaw clenching is stress and anxiety. This can occur during the day or while you are sleeping. Most people grind their teeth in their sleep, so you might not even realize that you are doing it, until it is brought to your attention by your dental professional at EJM Dental Studio.
Bruxism is one of many ways that our body physically manifests stress even if our minds aren’t aware of it. The next time you are in a high-stress situation, pay attention to what’s happening in your mouth. Are you clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth around?
Another very common cause of bruxism is mis-alignment of the teeth or jaw, known as malocclusion. When teeth do not come together properly, or they do not come together in a position that’s comfortable for your jaw joint, the body will subconsciously try to find a more comfortable spot.
One way to know if you suffer from bruxism is waking up with a headache, sore mouth or a tight jaw. You might also notice that your teeth begin to wear down in odd patterns over time, and appear flat, or have become sensitive to temperature, especially cold.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Bruxism
The best way to confirm whether or not you suffer from bruxism is to mention your symptoms to us at your next appointment. Dr. Morse will review the wear patterns on your teeth and examine your jaw to determine whether you’ve been grinding or clenching.
From there, Dr. Morse could choose from a few different treatments that she feels would best relieve your symptoms. Everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. We believe in treating each patient individually, and finding what works best for YOU!!
Some of these treatment options can include warm massage therapy that you can do yourself, Botox treatment to relax the muscle, or a mouth guard to help protect your teeth and jaw from further damage. If our team finds your grinding is caused by malocclusion, Invisalign, or orthodontic treatment may be recommended. Each treatment is designed specifically for you, to make you most comfortable, and provide you with the best results.
-Melissa Gross, RDH